Stock markets drop on new coronavirus variant fears – Stock markets dropped sharply on Friday after it was reported that a new variant of the coronavirus was discovered in South Africa. Many countries immediately instituted new travel restrictions in order to limit the spread. Bond yields dropped as investors rushed to safety which drove mortgage interest rates down. The Dow Jones Industrial Average closed the week at 34,899.34, down 2.0% from 35,601.98 last week. It is up 14.2% year-to-date. The S&P 500 closed the week at 4,594.62, down 2.2% from 4,697.96 last week. It is up 22.7% year-to-date. The NASDAQ closed the week at 15,491.66, down 3.5% from 16,057.44 last week. It is up 20.3% year-to-date.
U.S. Treasury bond yields – The 10-year treasury bond closed the week yielding 1.48% down from 1.54% last week. The 30-year treasury bond yield ended the week at 1.83%, down from 1.91% last week. We watch bond yields because mortgage rates often follow treasury bond yields.
Mortgage rates – The November 24, 2021, Freddie Mac Primary Mortgage Survey reported mortgage rates for the most popular loan products as follows: The 30-year fixed mortgage rate was 3.10%, unchanged from 3.10% last week. The 15-year fixed was 2.42% up from 2.39% last week. The 5-year ARM was 2.47%, almost unchanged from 2.49% last week. Stock markets dropped on Friday and interest rates dropped after news broke of a new strain of the Coronavirus. The 30-year was back to 3% on Friday.
U.S. Existing-home sales increase slightly in October – The National Association of Realtors reported that existing-home sales increased 0.8% in October from the number of sales in September. Year-over-year sales were down 5.8% from their near-record number one year ago. The median price paid for a home in the United States was $353,900, up 13.1% from $313,000 last October. There was a 2.4-month supply of homes available for sale, down from a 2.5 month supply last October. First time buyers accounted for 28% of all sales. Investors and second-home buyers accounted for 17% of the sales. 24% of the sales were all-cash purchases. Foreclosures and short-sales accounted to less than 1% of the sales. Existing-home sales include single-family, condominium, townhouse, and co-ops.
- Rodeo Realty, Inc.